9 Questions You Must Answer Before a Loved One Enters a Nursing Home
The decision to place a family member into a Texas nursing home is one of the most difficult decisions you may ever be asked to make with skyrocketing annual costs and various standards of care provided to residents. That is why it is important, if that time comes, to have a plan and to know what questions to ask.
In a perfect world, you would have plenty of time to visit the nursing homes, talk to the residents, meet the care staff, sample the food and so on. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world. Decisions often have to be made quickly and without a lot of information or comparisons.
TexasTitle19.com’s Mission Is to Help You
- Find the right nursing home;
- Get the best care there;
- Pay for it without going broke.
In order to accomplish all of this, your Texas Medicaid Attorney uses a systematic approach to learn about you, your wants, needs, and preferences. Once your attorney has gathered sufficient information, then he is able to identify virtually every Texas nursing home (based on Federal and State investigation reports and other data) to find the nursing homes which can meet your needs. But that is just the start.
Next, you need to know what questions to ask to make an informed choice. Here are some of the basic things to consider:
1. Is a nursing home necessary or are there alternatives?
Nobody has ever said they were looking forward to going into a nursing home. Yet, often there are alternatives that people simply do not know about. Talk to your physician, social workers, and other professionals to see if there are assisted living, home health care, or other alternatives for you.
2. How do I find the right nursing home?
The best way is to take a systematic approach like we discussed earlier. If this is not possible, at the very least, shop around. Personally visit each nursing home you are considering (make unannounced visits) and ask for recommendations.
3. Once I find the right nursing home, how can I get in?
Surviving the admissions process is not always easy. Be up front with the nursing home’s admissions director, be prepared to tell them all about your situation, including your finances.
4. Who will pay for my care: me, Medicare, Medicaid?
Again, it depends upon your personal situation and a knowledge of this difficult area of the law. You also have to be sure to take advantage of the special protections available for your spouse, if he or she will not be in the nursing home. Your Texas Medicaid Attorney can help you through this entire process and review your asset protection options.
5. Can they make my kids pay for my care?
Not if you handle the admissions process properly. Just be careful not to sign everything that is put in front of you without a thorough understanding of all the documents.
6. Once I get in, how can I get the best care there?
The key here is to have a proper care plan in place. That is a plan developed by the nursing home staff professionals (and you) to determine exactly what kind of care you will get. Putting a proper care plan in place is perhaps the most important step you can take, the care plan is part of your contract. If you feel that you can not be the best advocate for yourself, then your Texas Medicaid Attorney can help protect your rights during this vulnerable time.
7. Can I be moved around the facility, from room to room, once I am admitted?
There are several protections for you under Federal and State law. Often, people are moved without proper notice, and even without proper authority. Spend some time learning about your rights as a resident, or work with someone who will be an advocate for you.
8. What are the nursing home’s duties to me?
Ask them for a copy of their duties under the Nursing Home Reform Act. Because of a previous history of inadequate care, in the late 1980s Congress passed laws which outline the minimum standards for health, safety, and resident rights in nursing homes. Chances are you will be surprised and pleased to learn of all your rights; but it is necessary that you take the time to learn your rights.
9. Is there someone who can help me with all of this?
You can get help from many professionals: from an Elder Law attorney to a geriatric care manager, to social workers. Be sure to deal with a professional who understands the broad range of issues that arise when you or a loved one goes into a nursing home. TexasTitle19.com puts you in touch with a Texas Medicaid Attorney that is dedicated to: helping you find the right nursing home, get the best care there, and showing you how to pay for it without going broke. Your quality of life is at stake, who is on your side?
The attorneys that participate in TexasTitle19.com offer a variety of services from basic educational information and computer analysis to comprehensive legal services including Title 19 asset protection, review of admissions agreements and care plan representation, all the way through “length of stay” representation. You choose what services you want and your attorneywill price the legal fee accordingly. Many can tell you up front exactly what it will cost.
TexasTitle19.com has attorneys available in almost every part of Texas, including: Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and smaller communities.